Orel is the administrative center of the region. Orel is famous for its rich historical background and literary traditions. It stands on the Oka River at the Orlik confluence. The city population is about 400,000 people.
Orel is still one of the main outposts of Russian culture and literature. Among the famous people who lived in Orel or visited it are Ivan Turgenev, Ivan Bunin, Afanasiy Fet, Nikolay Leskov, Alexander Pushkin and many others.
There are 4 theatres, 11 museums and 9 Orthodox churches in Orel today.
Among the museums, there are I.S. Turgenev State Literary Museum, the Museum of Writers of Orel, the L. Andreev House-Museum, the I.S. Bunin Museum, the T.N. Granovski House Museum, the Museum of Regional Studies, the Museum of Arts and others.
There're 4 professional theatres — the Turgenev Academic Theatre, the Theatre for Children and Youth “Svobodnoye Prostranstvo”, the Puppet Theatre and the Municipal Theatre “Russki Stil”. The first Russian theater was founded in Orel in the last century by Count Kommensky. Now it is one of the best theaters in Russia.